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Draft Climate Change Bill on Track

June 9, 2021

Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment

Work on the Draft Climate Change Bill is close to completion.

The deputy minister of forestry, fisheries and the environment, Makhotso Sotyu, confirmed this during an address at the Annual Garden Route Fire Commemoration Event and Climate Change Indaba 2021.

Last month, the forestry, fisheries and the environment minister, Barbara Creecy, during the department’s 2021/22 Budget Vote Speech in parliament, announced that the draft bill has been certified by the state law advisor and is on its way through the Cabinet system in preparation for tabling in parliament in 2021.

A draft bill was published for comment in February 2019.

It seeks to:


• build the Republic’s effective climate change response and the long term, just transition to a climate resilient and lower carbon economy and society in the context of an environmentally sustainable development framework; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

In her address, the deputy minister also pointed out that the forestry, fisheries and the environment department is finalising the development of the Disaster Management Plan required in terms of Disaster Management Act of 2002 and the National Policy Framework for Disaster Risk Management 2005.

“The plan focuses on providing a coordinated and integrated approach to Disaster Management, as well as preventing or reducing disaster risk and facilitating emergency preparedness to respond to disasters rapidly and effectively”, she said.

The plan also identifies various committees and forums necessary to interface with at the local government level in order to facilitate implementation.

The department is also revising the National Coastal Management Programmes (NCMP) as per the Integrated Coastal Management Act.

The review of the NCMP will inform the review and development of the Provincial and Municipality Coastal Management Plans.

Meanwhile, the department recently updated parliament on the fisheries programmes designed to assist small-scale fisheries.

In response to the challenge of a limited basket of species with regard to nearshore marine resources, the department indicated that an apportionment split between small-scale fishing and local commercial sector is being considered after a public consultation process was concluded.

In terms of the recognition of small-scale fishers in the Western Cape, the department is preparing for the new process.

“Access to fishing will be provided while court process and new recognition process is taking place.”